artificial darkness an obscure history of modern art and media

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Artificial Darkness

Author : Noam M. Elcott
ISBN : 9780226329024
Genre : Art
File Size : 74. 83 MB
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Darkness has a history and a uniquely modern form. Distinct from night, shadows, and artificial light, “artificial darkness” has been overlooked—until now. In fact, controlled darkness was essential to the rise of photography and cinema, science and spectacle, and a century of advanced art and film. Artificial Darkness is the first book to historicize and theorize this phenomenon and map its applications across a range of media and art forms. In exploring how artificial darkness shaped modern art, film, and media, Noam M. Elcott addresses seminal and obscure works alongside their sites of production—such as photography darkrooms, film studios, and laboratories—and their sites of reception, including theaters, cinemas, and exhibitions. He argues that artists, scientists, and entertainers like Étienne-Jules Marey, Richard Wagner, Georges Méliès, and Oskar Schlemmer revolutionized not only images but also everything surrounding them: the screen, the darkness, and the experience of bodies and space. At the heart of the book is “the black screen,” a technology of darkness that spawned today’s blue and green screens and has undergirded numerous advanced art and film practices to this day. Turning familiar art and film narratives on their heads, Artificial Darkness is a revolutionary treatment of an elusive, yet fundamental, aspect of art and media history.

Willem De Kooning Nonstop

Author : Rosalind E. Krauss
ISBN : 9780226267586
Genre : Art
File Size : 57. 87 MB
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In the early 1950s, Willem de Kooning’s Woman I and subsequent paintings established him as a leading member of the abstract expressionist movement. His wildly impacted brushstrokes and heavily encrusted surfaces baffled most critics, who saw de Kooning’s monstrous female image as violent, aggressive, and ultimately the product of a misogynistic mind. In the image-rich Willem de Kooning Nonstop, Rosalind E. Krauss counters this view with a radical rethinking of de Kooning’s bold canvases and reveals his true artistic practices. Krauss demonstrates that contrary to popular conceptions of de Kooning as an artist who painted chaotically only to finish abruptly, he was in fact constantly reworking the same subject based on a compositional template. This template informed all of his art and included a three-part vertical structure; the projection of his male point of view into the painting or sculpture; and the near-universal inclusion of the female form, which was paired with her redoubled projection onto his work. Krauss identifies these elements throughout de Kooning’s oeuvre, even in his paintings of highways, boats, and landscapes: Woman is always there. A thought-provoking study by one of America’s greatest art critics, Willem de Kooning Nonstop revolutionizes our understanding of de Kooning and shows us what has always been hiding in plain sight in his work.

The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination

Author : Katsuya Hirano
ISBN : 9780226060736
Genre : History
File Size : 58. 16 MB
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In The Politics of Dialogic Imagination, Katsuya Hirano seeks to understand why, with its seemingly unrivaled power, the Tokugawa shogunate of early modern Japan tried so hard to regulate the ostensibly unimportant popular culture of Edo (present-day Tokyo)—including fashion, leisure activities, prints, and theater. He does so by examining the works of writers and artists who depicted and celebrated the culture of play and pleasure associated with Edo’s street entertainers, vagrants, actors, and prostitutes, whom Tokugawa authorities condemned to be detrimental to public mores, social order, and political economy. Hirano uncovers a logic of politics within Edo’s cultural works that was extremely potent in exposing contradictions between the formal structure of the Tokugawa world and its rapidly changing realities. He goes on to look at the effects of this logic, examining policies enacted during the next era—the Meiji period—that mark a drastic reconfiguration of power and a new politics toward ordinary people under modernizing Japan. Deftly navigating Japan’s history and culture, The Politics of Dialogic Imaginationprovides a sophisticated account of a country in the process of radical transformation—and of the intensely creative culture that came out of it.

The Pygmalion Effect

Author : Victor I. Stoichita
ISBN : 9780226775210
Genre : Art
File Size : 64. 65 MB
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Pygmalion's sculpture, which the gods endowed with life, marks, according to this book, perhaps the first instance in Western art of an image that exists on its own terms, rather than simply imitating something else. Stoichita delivers this image and its avatars from the shadow cast by art that merely replicates reality.

The Real Real Thing

Author : Wendy Steiner
ISBN : 9780226772196
Genre : Art
File Size : 80. 97 MB
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Our era is defined by the model. From Victoria’s Secret and America’s Next Top Model to the snapshots we post on Facebook and Twitter, our culture is fixated on the pose, the state of existing simultaneously as artifice and the real thing. In this bold view of contemporary culture, Wendy Steiner shows us the very meaning of the arts in the process of transformation. Her story begins at the turn of the last century, as the arts abandoned the representation of the world for a heady embrace of the abstract, the surreal, and the self-referential. Today though, this “separate sphere of the aesthetic” is indistinguishable from normal life. Media and images overwhelm us: we gingerly negotiate a real-virtual divide that we suspect no longer exists, craving contact with what J. M. Coetzee has called “the real real thing.” As the World Wide Web renders the lower-case world in ever-higher definition, the reality-based genres of memoir and documentary are displacing fiction, and novels and films are depicting the contemporary condition through model-protagonists who are half-human, half-image. Steiner shows the arts searching out a new ethical potential through this figure: by stressing the independent existence of the model, they welcome in the audience in all its unpredictability, redefining aesthetic experience as a real-world interaction with the promise of empathy, reciprocity, and egalitarian connection. A masterly performance by a penetrating, inquisitive mind, The Real Real Thing is that rarest of books, one whose provocations and inspirations will inspire readers to take a new—and nuanced—look at the world around them.

Depositions

Author : Amy Knight Powell
ISBN : 9781935408208
Genre : Art
File Size : 46. 53 MB
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From late medieval reenactments of the Deposition from the Cross to Sol Lewitt's Buried Cube, Depositions is about taking down images and about images that anticipate being taken down. Foretelling their own depositions, as well as their re-elevations in contexts far from those in which they were made, the images studied in this book reveal themselves to be untimely--no truer to their first appearance than to their later reappearances. In Depositions, Amy Powell makes the case that late medieval paintings and ritual reenactments of the Deposition from the Cross not only picture the deposition of Christ (the Imago Dei) but also allegorize the deposition of the image as such and, in so doing, prefigure the lowering of "dead images" during the Protestant Reformation. Late medieval pre-figurations of Reformation iconoclasm anticipate, in turn, the repeated "deaths" of art since the advent of photography: that is the premise of the vignettes devoted to twentieth-century works of art that conclude each chapter of this book. In these vignettes, images that once stood in late medieval churches now find themselves among works of art from the more recent past with which they share certain formal characteristics. These surreal encounters compel us to reckon with affinities between images from different times and places. Turning pseudomorphosis--formal resemblance where there is no similarity of artistic intent -- on its head, Powell explores what happens to our understanding of historically and conceptually distant works of art when they look alike.

Tv By Design

Author : Lynn Spigel
ISBN : 9780226769684
Genre : Art
File Size : 41. 15 MB
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While critics have long disparaged commercial television as a vast wasteland, TV has surprising links to the urbane world of modern art that stretch back to the 1950s and ’60s During that era, the rapid rise of commercial television coincided with dynamic new movements in the visual arts—a potent combination that precipitated a major shift in the way Americans experienced the world visually. TV by Design uncovers this captivating story of how modernism and network television converged and intertwined in their mutual ascent during the decades of the cold war. Whereas most histories of television focus on the way older forms of entertainment were recycled for the new medium, Lynn Spigel shows how TV was instrumental in introducing the public to the latest trends in art and design. Abstract expressionism, pop art, art cinema, modern architecture, and cutting-edge graphic design were all mined for staging techniques, scenic designs, and an ever-growing number of commercials. As a result, TV helped fuel the public craze for trendy modern products, such as tailfin cars and boomerang coffee tables, that was vital to the burgeoning postwar economy. And along with influencing the look of television, many artists—including Eero Saarinen, Ben Shahn, Saul Bass, William Golden, and Richard Avedon—also participated in its creation as the networks put them to work designing everything from their corporate headquarters to their company cufflinks. Dizzy Gillespie, Ernie Kovacs, Duke Ellington, and Andy Warhol all stop by in this imaginative and winning account of the ways in which art, television, and commerce merged in the first decades of the TV age.

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